ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta) — Don’t laugh. Eating boogers could possibly be good for your health.

A University of Saskatchewan biochemistry professor tells CBC News that picking one’s nose and eating what comes out could help the immune system.

“By consuming those pathogens caught within the mucus, could that be a way to teach your immune system about what it’s surrounded with?” Scott Napper told CBC News.

Napper says his theory can be related to the one linking improved hygiene and an increase in allergies and auto-immune disorders.

“From an evolutionary perspective, we evolved under very dirty conditions and maybe this desire to keep our environment and our behaviours sterile isn’t actually working to our advantage,” Napper told CBC News.

Napper says his theory still needs to be tested.

“All you would need is a group of volunteers. You would put some sort of molecule in all their noses, and for half of the group they would go about their normal business and for the other half of the group, they would pick their nose and eat it,” Napper told CBC News. “Then you could look for immune responses against that molecule and if they’re higher in the booger-eaters, then that would validate the idea.”

Napper got the idea after seeing his daughters constantly picking their noses.

“I’ve got two beautiful daughters and they spend an amazing amount of time with their fingers up their nose,” Napper said. “And without fail, it goes right into their mouth afterwards. Could they just be fulfilling what we’re truly meant to do?”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta says bacteria in one’s nose causes mucus to change to a greenish color.


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